Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins > London , England
Latham & Watkins Offices
Latham & Watkins > The Legal 500 Rankings
Acquisition finance Tier 1
Benefiting from an equally strong offering on the high yield and bank debt front, Latham & Watkins is a perennial presence in the market on many of the largest and most sophisticated mandates for lenders and borrowers. Able to mobilise extensive resources from across the firm’s international network, as well as being particularly adept at structuring deals utilising highly bespoke private finance solutions (including the implementation of PIK loans, US Term Loan B’s, private high yield notes and other hybrid investments), the team is noted for its ‘high levels of creativity’. The ‘very experienced’ Stephen Kensell and the ‘superb’ Mohamed Nurmohamed have an excellent reputation among many leading investment banks, with Nurmohamed recently working alongside colleagues from the US on behalf of JP Morgan, on the term loan facilities in connection with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company's acquisition of Shire Plc. On the private equity front, team head Sam Hamilton continues to handle a plethora of financings for Nordic Capital, while the ‘excellent’ Dominic Newcomb regularly handles work for large US private equity sponsors. Ross Anderson is also recommended and ‘really gets the negotiating dynamic’ on behalf of a plethora of major banking clients on cross-border acquisition finance mandates.
CVC Capital Partners
Complemented by a prolific tech practice and transatlantic and pan-European expertise, Latham & Watkins is consistently involved in some of the largest listings in London and throughout the European markets. 'Well-staffed and very collaborative', the London team was involved in the largest tech IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2018, and also handled 2018's largest European IPO in conjunction with the firm's Frankfurt office. The English law ECM practice is led by James Inness, who sits in the wider corporate group alongside the London private equity team – another important source of work for the capital markets group. Spearheaded by David Boles and Olof Clausson, the US securities group on the other hand sits alongside and shares a pool of associates with the high-yield team. Clausson has a particularly strong reputation in the Nordic markets and has developed expertise in the fintech and digital payments sectors. Chris Horton joined the team from Latham & Watkins in late 2019.
‘Latham has in recent years become perhaps the pre-eminent firm for large IPOs across EMEA.‘
‘Consistently attracts top lawyers in every major jurisdiction.‘
‘The firm’s mix of local and international expertise is unrivalled.‘
‘Olof Clausson has unparalleled experience in the Nordic markets; David Boles can find soft landings in tough situations; and James Inness is simply outstanding.‘
CVC Capital Partners
High yield Tier 1
'Consistently at the top of the market', says a client of Latham & Watkins, which has the largest group of high yield specialists of any firm in London. The firm remains a leader in the market and two promotions, Matthew Schneider and Fritz Ernemann, bring the number of partners in Brett Cassidy's London group to nine. They handle the full range of high yield debt products in Europe, as well as calling on the firm's extensive banking, industry, regulatory and compliance practices to support investment banks, private equity sponsors and corporates. In 2018, the firm had a role in 99 high yield transactions that closed, with an aggregate deal value in excess of $105.9bn. Jocelyn Seitzman frequently handles sponsor-side work for private equity houses; Scott Colwell and Francesco Lione act for major banks and corporates; and Jennifer Engelhardt handles deals for oil and gas industry players. Tracy Edmonson moved to the Hong Kong office with James Burnett coming the other way to join the London group.
“I have not had a bad experience ever with the firm. It has creative and thorough partners who provide sound advice.”
CVC Capital Partners
Oil and gas Tier 1
The multi-disciplinary oil and gas team at Latham & Watkins advises a diverse mix of investors, ranging from private houses and NOCs to banks and oil majors, as well as governments and service providers. The team is particularly strong in the cross-border M&A space but covers the full gamut of matters, including dispute resolution, anti-bribery issues and sanctions. The London team is jointly led by corporate expert Simon Tysoe and Islamic finance and Middle East specialist Craig Nethercott. Kem Ihenacho heads the Africa practice and is also a name to note, along with John Balsdon. Chirag Sanghrajka was recently promoted to partner.
‘Latham and Watkins has a strong projects and energy and natural resources practice. The strength of the practice is due both to the experience (and involvement) of key partners as well as the knowledge and diligence of the associates.’
‘JP Sweny is an excellent attorney who combines legal know-how with pragmatic advice.’
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
The Carlyle Group
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc
Indian Oil Corporation Limited
Latham & Watkins' 'notably bright and hard-working team' is widely respected for complex, high-value disputes, frequently with cross-border elements or involving proceedings outside England and Wales, and the practice has significant knowledge of the regulatory regimes governing banks, brokers, hedge funds, investment managers and advisers, and swaps market participants. It acted for ABN AMRO Bank, a major global financial institution, in high-stakes litigation that arose from the collapse of Bernard Madoff Investments Securities, which is widely considered the largest Ponzi scheme ever. Jon Holland, Andrea Monks, Martin Davies and Oliver Browne are highly rated, and the disputes team can draw on the expertise of three silks in Stuart Alford QC, Sophie Lamb QC and Philip Clifford QC. Dan Smith and Oliver Middleton are key counsels.
‘Provides an outstanding service to its clients; the practice has a rigorous approach both to legal issues and strategic decisions in which the available arguments and options are analysed in depth in order to ensure that the case is presented as effectively as possible.‘
‘The lawyers are good communicators who engage sensibly with clients, opposing solicitors, and counsel; it is a pleasure to work with them.‘
‘Oliver Browne is extremely good with clients; he has excellent judgement, is sensitive to the commercial dynamics of any dispute, and understands that litigation is not an end in itself.‘
‘Dan Smith is a fine counsel, who is always eager to explore different angles on a case and often comes up with good points that others might have missed.‘
Samba Financial Group
ABN AMRO Bank
Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid
SNS Global Custody
Bank Julius Baer & Co
Trust Company of the West
Commercial contracts Tier 2
Latham & Watkins has particular expertise in cross-border mandates, notably in the technology and fintech sectors. Andrew Moyle advises clients ranging from traditional financial institutions to new technology incumbents. He co-leads the practice with Gail Crawford, who focuses on technology, intellectual property and commercial law. Their team includes the ‘outstanding’ Fiona Maclean, who specialises in blockchain and data, and Christian McDermott, who is experienced in complex technology transactions, large-scale outsourcings and payment infrastructure matters. The group acted for Credit Suisse in its investment and collaborative venture with fintech provider Privé to develop a multi-jurisdictional wealth management platform.
‘Latham & Watkins’ team is pragmatic and constructive, whilst bringing an excellent subject knowledge of the areas in question’
‘The contract created was robust and has been effective ever since’
‘The team provides deep subject knowledge and advice at the intersection of points of law with commercial decisions’
‘The team communicates excellently and is able to move forward at pace, whilst being diligent across a complex contract’
‘Fiona Maclean provided very able day-to-day leadership’
Credit Suisse Equity Derivatives
Zimmer Biomet Pte Ltd
Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec
Lumendi Ltd. (UK)
Commercial litigation Tier 2
Latham & Watkins' 'very professional team is hands on and provides clear guidance. Timing is also always good and clients know that they are in good hands'. It is highly regarded for high-profile litigation, including cases that are mission-critical for clients, cases that produce important new laws and cases in new areas, such as group actions and test cases. The firm has been making a push to grow its City disputes team in recent years, adding a number of partners including financial services litigators Jon Holland and Andrea Monks from Hogan Lovells in 2018. Significant matters have seen Sophie Lamb QC represent Royal Dutch Shell and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in group actions brought on behalf of thousands of residents of two Niger Delta communities in relation to alleged environmental pollution. London practice head Oliver Browne is experienced in complex commercial litigation and arbitration, while global litigation vice-chair Martin Davies' practice covers corporate and shareholder disputes as well as litigation in the banking, technology, data and communications sectors. Also key to the group is Ian Felstead , as well as counsels Daniel Smith and Oliver Middleton.
‘Excellent communicators who know the law and are very good at explaining this verbally and in writing. Their writing skills in legal proceedings (letters and briefs) are outstanding‘.
The Carlyle Group
Royal Dutch Shell
London Stock Exchange
Samba Financial Group
Renesas Electronics Europe
Latham & Watkins' rapidly growing six-partner team – strengthened by the arrival of 'extremely proactive problem solvers' Yen Sum and Jennifer Brennan from Sidley Austin LLP in July 2018 – provides 'insightful and highly bespoke advice' to a range of stakeholders throughout the capital structure. Instructed on a standalone basis and also generating a significant workflow from the firm's strong private equity and bank/capital markets practices, the team provides 'dynamic and user-friendly advice' to creditors and debtors across a growing volume of the most complex cross-border restructurings in the market. 'Highly commercial' team head Simon J Baskerville is a 'force of nature for fund restructurings'. He recently spearheaded the team's work, along with practitioners from New York and Hamburg, on the high-profile representation of a committee of creditors of Steinhoff Europe on its comprehensive restructuring. The 'very experienced' John Houghton handles work for a broad range of stakeholders, particularly in relation to emerging markets mandates, while Helena Potts has a focus on debtor side mandates.
‘The team is dynamic and easy to work with.’
‘The practice has a creative approach to solving issues that arise.’
‘Simon Baskerville stands out for his commercial instincts and ability to understand how his clients are thinking of a situation and helping them achieve their goals.’
‘Yen Sun and Jennifer Brennan are incredibly commercial, hands-on, diligent and thorough. They truly work with the client to provide a custom solution, are incredibly dynamic in fluid situations and go above and beyond to protect their clients’ interests.’
Hayfin Capital Management
With a traditional focus on non-contentious data protection work, the group at Latham & Watkins has notably expanded its contentious and regulatory investigations expertise through the experience of litigator Ian Felstead. In a notable highlight, the practice advised Facebook, a new client for the group, on its response to a late-2018 data breach including handling the regulatory investigation and defending it against related litigation. Department head Gail Crawford is also global co-chair of the firm’s technology transactions group; she recently led advice to the BT Pension Scheme, the UK’s largest corporate defined benefit pension scheme, on its GDPR compliance programme and local UK data protection law. Ernst & Young, Majestic and William Hill are also noteworthy clients. Fiona Maclean was recently promoted to the partnership; she has substantial expertise in outsourcing issues, technology transformation projects and cloud computing mandates.
‘The team is always available. It has a good understanding of its client’s business and approach and accommodates that in its service. However, it does have strong conviction when providing advice. It works incredibly hard and offers a gold-plated service, and also follows up and provides a high level of documentation and response.‘
‘Gail Crawford has good oversight yet allows the team to develop the client relationship. Danielle van der Merwe is proactive and up to date with guidance and approach. Mihail Krepchev is always helpful and has good knowledge. The team provides a top-notch service, is almost always available on short notice and work around schedules well. It comes prepared and will provide positive challenges to ideas backed with good logic. It is involved and works in partnership on major issues that have arisen. Very reliable and dependable.‘
‘The group has a strong understanding of the global data protection landscape aligned with a pragmatic and reasonable position on compliance guidance.‘
‘Gail Crawford is outstanding in her ability to understand the problem, assess risk and provide appropriate guidance. She always makes herself available and has an unrivalled command of the data-protection landscape.‘
BT Pension Scheme
The Endurance International Group, Inc.
Ernst & Young
William Hill plc.
Debt capital markets Tier 2
Latham & Watkins has one of the largest and most experienced US capital markets teams in Europe, which gives it a prominent role in 144A offerings into the United States, which involve challenging disclosure and diligence issues. In EMEA, the firm advised on more than 120 debt issuances in 2018, with an aggregate deal value of $120bn, and London played a central role in many of those transactions. The 'lean and professional team, which has more of a personal touch than is offered by many of its competitors', is regarded as a leading player in many areas of the DCM market. In emerging markets debt, the firm acts for issuers and investment banks on landmark and groundbreaking multi-jurisdictional debt offerings in the CEE and CEMEA regions. It frequently advises on sovereign and quasi-sovereign debt issuance, which included a recent $1.2bn notes offering by the Government of Ukraine. It also excels in liability management and English law private placement transactions. Lene Malthasen and David Stewart are the standout partners.
‘The team has an excellent work ethic and shows commerciality in its legal advice‘.
‘The lawyers are personable, hardworking and reliable‘.
‘The firm has a hardworking and commercial team with best-in-class execution‘.
‘The lawyers are willing to go the extra mile to provide solutions and answers to problems. They are generally available at short notice and are always seeking to provide assistance to banks‘.
‘Associate Harrison Armstrong is always available to discuss both small and larger matters and will guide you safely through any major transaction‘.
Mobile TeleSystems PJSC / Dega Retail Holding Limited
The structured finance, securitisation and derivatives practice at Latham & Watkins has a core derivatives team that handles structured equity, credit and emerging markets transactions for major financial institutions and corporate and fund clients. It has in-depth knowledge of swaps, options, forwards, repos, stock loans, securitised derivatives and structured notes across all asset classes. In structured equity, the firm acts for major international investment banks, corporates and funds in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and Asia. Its recent work include advising two global investment banks on the use of equity derivatives to facilitate two high-profile acquisitions of stakes in listed companies in Europe and Asia. It was also involved in developing market standard collateral structures for use in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Global practice chair Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya handles OTC and exchange-traded derivatives as part of his broad finance practice. Key partner Dean Naumowicz has extensive experience advising on a wide range of derivatives and structured products including credit, equity, and commodity transactions. Up-and-coming partner Shatha Ali and counsel Simeon Rudin also play central roles in the practice.
Ares Management LLC
AXA Investment Managers
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Black Diamond Capital Management LLC
Citibank Global Markets Inc.
Fortress Investment Group
Mizuho Securities Company Ltd
Och-Ziff Capital Managemenet
SoftBank Group Corporation
Banque Saudi Fransi
The regulatory team at Latham & Watkins specialises in bank-wide implementation projects, sensitive internal investigations, high-profile independent reviews and product governance matters. On the non-contentious side, the firm has experience in transatlantic regulatory development work and provides an institutional asset management practice as well as fintech services combining regulation and technology. Practice head Rob Moulton specialises in high profile matters relating to MiFID II and Brexit. He can call on the expertise of 'very good technical lawyer' David Berman, who is known for advice in relation to the asset management, broking and banking sectors; and Carl Fernandes, who arrived from Linklaters LLP in 2018 and acts for international investment banks and asset managers 'providing consistently high quality advice'. The team has particular experience in EU benchmarks regulation. Also notable is associate Jonathan Ritson-Candler. On the contentious side, the 'astute, wily' Jon Holland and the 'excellent' Andrea Monks arrived in 2018 from Hogan Lovells International LLP and co-lead the firm’s offering. They specialise in complicated and high profile disputes and contentious regulatory issues, particularly with a multi-jurisdictional element, and have a strong track record advising retail and investment banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions.
‘The regulatory team at Latham has broad and deep knowledge of UK regulation and gives both technically accurate and pragmatic advice in a prompt and client-focused way’
‘They are a good bunch to deal with: approachable, friendly and apply a common sense approach’
‘The team’s exposure to a variety of clients allows for the provision of insightful advice and a sense of applied industry standards’
‘Rob Moulton and Nicola Higgs are very strong partners in the team’
‘David Berman is a go-to guy. He’s super-responsive, always gives very practical advice and is not afraid to challenge and push-back where appropriate’
‘Carl Fernandes has a deep understanding and a distinct ability to target his advice to the business model’
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
J.P. Morgan Securities Plc
Legal and General Investment Management
China Construction Bank
Sanford C. Bernstein
Central Bank of Egypt
Numis Corporation Plc
Nomura International plc
Fintech Tier 2
Latham & Watkins's fintech group advises financial institutions, investors, emerging companies and technology and internet companies on projects relating to blockchain, cryptocurrency, tokenisation of assets, payments, cloud computing, AI, cyber security, digital banking and technology, as well as conventional corporate transactions. Andrew Moyle (global co-chair of the fintech practice) advises traditional financial institutions and new tech companies on payments and transfers, insurtech developments and virtual currencies. Senior associate Stuart Davis specialises in advising clients on the domestic and cross-border regulatory aspects of fintech initiatives, often in relation to the use of blockchain and in structuring ICOs. Davis and Moyle were recently appointed by the World Economic Forum to advise on a range of strategic initiatives, including a blockchain project for which they have produced several whitepapers. In another major instruction, the team was retained by Nivaura to provide advice on the legal and regulatory aspects of the development of a platform for creating, clearing and settling tokenised equity using blockchain technology. The group hired five new lawyers in 2018-2019, including associate Sam Maxson, who has expertise in cryptoassets and the 'tokenisation' of financial markets.
“The capital markets legal and regulatory expertise is unparalleled. Andrew Moyle, Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson and the London team have been instrumental in some of the groundbreaking work we’ve done in automated securities issuances, particularly around creating automated documentation for equities, and with a lot of the in-depth regulatory analysis on how to vertically integrate with CSDs for automated primary issuance.”
“This team has deep experience in digital assets and capital markets and is able to go into significant detail on the content, structure, and implementations of digital asset markets and products. Additionally, the team is able to interpret digital asset market implications for different jurisdictions and regulations.”
“Stuart Davis in particular is able and eager to understand new digital asset products and markets, and identify the industry initiatives and regulations that are most relevant. He also takes initiative, participating in industry working groups and advocacy bodies, and providing input on the best direction for various market participants.”
“Stuart Davis was able draw on the full scope of Latham & Watkin’s expertise across lending, fintech and fund management. In addition the firm had the connections with specialist solicitor firms in other jurisdictions that we required.”
“Stuart Davis has the rare combination of understanding the commercial needs for a proposition to work, being able to negotiate highly competently on our behalf with key stakeholders and possessing the deep legal knowledge expected of a top tier lawyer.”
“In comparison to other firms Latham & Watkins shows significant knowledge in the payment industry.”
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
180 Digital Assets
Latham & Watkins is 'extremely knowledgeable across a broad range of entertainment law fields' and it receives plaudits for its experience in film and TV corporate and finance work. The team is adept at handling content production, is active on a number of high-profile development deals and handles a raft of large projects in the film and TV industry. Its cross-border capabilities are also praised by clients; the London team often works closely with colleagues overseas to advise on complex, multi-jurisdictional mandates. The firm is also able to provide tax, competition and employment work for its global media sector clients, and it offers litigation and dispute resolution advice in relation to commercial, media, technology and regulatory matters. Team head Lisbeth Savill is 'incredibly knowledgeable about media and entertainment finance matters, is a delight to work with and is exactly the person you want in a difficult situation'. Savill led advice in London for Anonymous Content on the establishment of a joint venture with two UK talent agencies (United Agents and Casarotto). Counsel Clare Hardwick is a 'tough negotiator but knows how to get a deal done'.
The team is extremely well connected, very experienced and highly capable.
Lisbeth Savill is smart, practical, knowledgeable, well-connected, experienced and thorough.
The team is not just a source of legal advice but is a source of practical business advice across all sectors of the entertainment industry.
The team remains motivated, knowledgeable and committed throughout longstanding and laborious legal processes, crossing several international jurisdictions.
As part of the service, they team remains available 24/7 and it meets strict deadlines in a quick and efficient manner.
Helena Potts and Stewart Robinson’s scope of knowledge is insightful and their ability to lever the firm’s network of lawyers across Europe helps to mitigate potential issues quickly, with the relevant expertise.
The team is highly experienced, with deep industry knowledge.
Lisbeth Savill’s calm, professional and elegant demeanour plays a substantial role in keeping everyone focused on the task at hand.
Stewart Robinson does a phenomenal job in tracking every single detail.
The team is extremely attentive to each and every issue that needs to be figured out, strategized, organized, implemented and responded to.
The team is extremely fast and deeply thorough with everything it does.
Anonymous Content, LLC
The Ink Factory Limited
Described as a 'very classy outfit' by one client, Latham & Watkins ' large City team advises on a wide range of transactions for a number of large buyout houses. Notably, the firm represented Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone on their failed €5.7 billion takeover offer for Scout24 AG - which would have been the biggest public-to-private deal in Germany to date. Global vice chair of corporate David Walker and global vice chair of private equity Kem Ihenacho are key figures in a London team which also includes recently made up partner Linzi Thomas who has a keen interest in Africa matters. Also recommended is Tom Evans, whose key clients include the likes of Permira and Platinum Equity. Working closely with experienced PE teams in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the London group delivers a seamless pan-European service on cross-jurisdictional mandates. The practice further benefits from the firm's broader finance and capital markets offering, which ensures it can handle all forms of loan, bond and hybrid capital structures when it comes to transaction financing.
‘Highly experienced senior lawyers with several decades of experience‘.
‘Latham has a great bench strength, in London and throughout Europe. We find them one of the best firms in terms of delivering cross-border PE transactions.‘
‘David Walker and Oliver Felsenstein (Germany) have deep private equity experience, take a well- balanced approach to contracts and are a safe pair of hands‘.
‘David Walker is a real leader; he is very strong technically, incredibly diligent and a wonderful resource for difficult judgement calls and risk decisions. Farah O’Brien is a real star performer’
‘Linzi Thomas is a young partner who has been advising me on my last three transactions. Her work is of the highest quality and I trust her fully. She is an excellent negotiator who seeks the right level of input on commercial points and raises the critical issues, which gives me huge leverage‘.
‘Kem Ihenacho leads the private equity practice for Latham in Europe. Kem has advised me on several transactions personally and he is one of the best lawyers I have worked with; he is calm but incredibly firm when necessary‘.
Canada Pension PlanInvestment Board
CVC Capital Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Hellman & Friedman
Helios Investment Partners
The Carlyle Group
Goldman Sachs PIA
Public international law Tier 2
Latham & Watkins fields 'a talented team of lawyers' with 'first-class' knowledge of public international law ranging from territorial boundary law, maritime delimitation to Law of the Sea disputes before the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration; international trade and WTO law; sovereign immunity; international humanitarian law and human rights. Its international sanctions practice continues to be sought for advice related to sanctions imposed against Russia and it has noted a steady growth in instructions relating to international sanctions on Iran and EU blocking measures. Charles Claypoole has a strong track record as an advocate in investment treaty arbitration, and is currently representing Ukraine in the largest treaty claim brought against it, valued at approximately $5bn. Sophie Lamb and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert are also highly regarded for international arbitration.
‘Charles Claypoole and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert are at the top of the game for investment arbitration and public international law. Their team includes associates, in particular Thomas Lane, with partner-level expertise and judgement.’
Republic of Croatia
Government of Ukraine
Republic of Colombia
Thomas Gosling and Mauritian Property Partnerships
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The securitisation practice at Latham & Watkins climbs the ranking this year. It acts for a wide range of funds, private equity houses, banks, issuers and other financial institutions on sophisticated transactions in the London and European markets. It has significant expertise in asset-backed securities, public and private securitisations, cash and synthetic securitisations, and both European and US CLO transactions. Its partners also handle alternative finance, fintech, direct lending and SME loans in the structured market, as well as emerging and niche asset classes such as aircraft leases, auto loans, consumer loans, commercial loans, equipment leases, franchise receivables, insurance-related assets and many more. The derivatives group handles complex structured equity and structured credit transactions across the world. Sanjev Warna-Kula-Suriya is chair of the global structured finance and securitisation practice. Derivatives and capital markets partner Dean Naumowicz handles structured products and shari'ah-compliant derivatives, and frequently handles emerging markets transactions. The firm hired leading partner Jeremiah Wagner from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, along with several associates.
Ares Management LLC
AXA Investment Managers
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Black Diamond Capital Management LLC
Citibank Global Markets Inc.
Fortress Investment Group
Mizuho Securities Company Ltd
Och-Ziff Capital Managemenet
SoftBank Group Corporation
Banque Saudi Fransi
Emerging markets Tier 3
Latham & Watkins is a leading player in debt capital markets transactions involving emerging markets. The practice has extensive experience in Russia and the CEE region, as well as other key jurisdictions, and represents both issuers and investment banks on landmark and groundbreaking multi-jurisdictional debt offerings. Debt specialist Lene Malthasen is a key partner in the group, and frequently advises on Rule 144a issuances and liability management transactions in Russia, the CIS, the Middle East, Southern Europe and Asia. David Stewart, who works between the London and Moscow offices, focuses on the broader CEMEA region, where be uses his knowledge of US securities law to bear on debut bond offerings and liability management transactions. Project development and finance partner John Balsdon, who frequently handles oil and gas projects in emerging markets, also plays a key role in the practice.
Environment Tier 3
Latham & Watkins advises on environmental transactions in the chemicals business and energy sectors, as well as assisting with the establishment of new energy plants. The practice also provides advice on carbon allowances and carbon trading, while other areas of expertise include the provision of regulatory advice relating to Brexit. Practice head Paul Davies has ‘an excellent mind’ and is assisting Chinese environmental regulators with the development of new environmental laws.
‘Forward-looking and highly international’
‘The firm is excellent in developing new areas of law and expertise’
‘A superb and thorough team’
SABIC UK Petrochemicals
The Carlyle Group
LXB Retail Properties
Energy Capital Partners
Royal Dutch Shell
With the arrival of high profile partners Conrad Andersen from Allen & Overy LLP in September 2018 and Brendan Moylan from Clifford Chance LLP in November 2018, Latham & Watkins' infrastructure practice has been able to hit the ground running. The team offers legal support to funds, direct investors, insurance companies, and pension plans investing in the infrastructure sector, offering advice on private equity, banking and project finance matters of transactions. The broad practice puts special emphasis on deals in the energy, utilities, transport, social infrastructure and technology sectors.
‘Latham & Watkins understands the sector and the needs of the business. The team has a wide breadth of knowledge in other sectors and looks to see if there is an advantageous applicability.’
Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets
Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Universities Superannuation Scheme
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners
International arbitration Tier 3
Latham & Watkins' London team advises on the full scope of international arbitration matters, including multi-jurisdictional disputes, international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and PIL matters. It stands out for its assistance to significant oil, gas and nuclear companies. Sophie Lamb QC is a global co-chair of the international arbitration practice and Oliver Browne is the chair of the London litigation and trial practice. The other names to note are Philip Clifford QC, PIL expert Charles Claypoole and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who divides his time between London and Hamburg. Samuel Pape and Robert Price are experienced associates. Former counsel Charles Courtenay left for Michelmores LLP.
‘They have great work and a great team‘.
‘Philip Clifford QC and Oliver Browne are really impressive for the personal involvement and attention they give to cases, the speed of their responses and the quality of their legal advice and work‘.
Indorama International Finance
Mobile TeleSystems Finance
Sri Trang Agro Group
Travis Coal Restructured Holdings
ABN AMRO Bank
IT and telecoms Tier 3
Latham & Watkins' technology transactions team has the ability to handle a range of multi-jurisdictional transactions across the technology sector, with particular expertise acting for financial services clients and advising on cloud-related matters. The team is jointly led by Andrew Moyle, who focuses on the fintech space, and commercial technology and data privacy specialist Gail Crawford. Recently promoted partners Fiona Maclean and Christian McDermott are other key names in the group; Maclean has data privacy regulatory expertise, which she deploys in a range of commercial and outsourcing transactions, while McDermott has experience in payment solutions matters.
Latham & Watkins handles corporate, transactional and advisory work for corporates, private equity sponsors, funds and investment banks. The US-firm acts for a large number of multi-jurisdictional clients, with a particular focus on the US-UK pipeline, advising on both inbound and outbound investment. The firm frequently acts opposite Magic Circle and Silver Circle firms, as was the case when advising JP Morgan as financial sponsor to Takeda Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of Shire. The matter was led by Richard Butterwick, who also advised GVC Holdings in connection with the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral. Farah O’Brien specialises in cross-border private M&A, and has a strong track record in joint ventures and corporate restructurings. The 'oustanding' Ed Barnett has extensive experience advising international companies on cross-border M&A transactions, and works with a number of high-profile clients across key sectors. The practice is led by Nick Cline and Robbie McLaren, and benefited from the arrivals of Brendan Moylan from Clifford Chance LLP and Neil Ferguson from Jones Day, specialists in infrastructure and real estate transactions respectively.
‘Extremely diligent, detail-orientated legal work, combined with tenacious negotiation and, just as importantly, very hands on client service in managing complex situations‘
‘Ed Barnett is outstanding. He gives practical, realistic, pragmatic and strategic advice backed by excellent and diligent legal work. I would recommend him to anyone.‘
‘Nick Cline is tenacious, attentive to detail, calm under pressure, and has stellar negotiation skills and inexhaustible stamina. He was a critical part of our success‘
Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp
GVC Holdings plc
TI Fluid Systems plc
Venator Materials plc
Wizz Air plc
Mining and minerals Tier 3
The mining team at Latham & Watkins continues to handle significant mining and metals instructions, advising across a variety of practice areas. Recent highlights include advising on the TALEX aluminum project in Dubai and the Alba Line 6 expansion project in Bahrain. Led by Craig R Nethercott, the cross-departmental group covers the full life cycle of mining projects and acts for clients in the downstream, midstream and upstream sectors.
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.
Norsk Hydro ASA
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C.
Mubadala Development Company PJSC
Royal Hill Mining
Latham & Watkins advises on bet-the-company government investigations, multi-jurisdictional cases, and matters involving the Bribery Act in the UK and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US. Its global footprint means it regularly advises clients opposite UK regulators such as the Serious Fraud Office and the DoJ and SEC in the US. Clients include banks, asset managers, financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and FTSE 250 companies. Co-head of team Stuart Alford QC is experienced in high-profile investigations and prosecutions. Nathan Seltzer, who heads the team alongside him and is vice-chair of the firm’s white collar practice group, relocated to the London office from Washington DC, and focuses on cross-border internal investigations, and civil and criminal government investigations. Jon Holland and Andrea Monks both joined as partners from Hogan Lovells International LLP , adding further bench strength to the practice.
Although it is best-known for its leveraged finance prowess, Latham & Watkins' strong investment banking ties with heavy hitters including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs ensures that it also regularly picks up its fair share of syndicated loans work and investment grade M&A financings. The team is particularly well-positioned to advise on bespoke cross-border mandates which involve deep knowledge across the capital structure, including on dual bank and bond financings. The vastly experienced Stephen E Kensell's leading bank-side reputation sees him engaged in a significant flow of investment-grade M&A and IPO-related finance. He recently advised HSBC on the term loan and revolving credit facilities in connection with Cineworld Group’s $4.3bn acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group.
Corporate tax Tier 4
Finance and M&A-related tax are key areas of expertise for the team at Latham & Watkins, which has a strong transactional focus and a specialism in private equity-related work. The group also regularly supports other departments in the firm on issues such as IPOs and technology-related taxation. Transactional tax specialist Sean Finn and Karl Mah (who is the principal tax contact for the London office's banks and capital markets departments) co-head the team.
‘Very competent technically and very commercial‘
‘Karl Mah is a good sounding board to discuss tax issues to a transaction‘
‘Very knowledgeable, with excellent technical expertise and strong communication skills‘
The Carlyle Group
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp
EU and competition Tier 4
At Latham & Watkins, recent work highlights involve the full spectrum of competition law work such as merger control advice, state aid, compliance counselling, reviews and investigations, and market investigations conducted by the CMA in particular. The team’s strong expertise in the area make it a desirable destination for a number of financial-sector clients. The group has also carved out a reputation in the TMT industry, in which it boasts a list of high-profile clients such as Viasat. John Colahan advises on matters in the consumer goods as well as in the medical products and pharmaceuticals space. Colahan jointly heads the department with Jonathan Parker, who stands out for his prior work experience at the CMA.
‘The team has great knowledge of UK competition law and its application‘
‘The team is sensitive to in-house counsel’s issues‘
‘John Colahan is a great organiser, who stands out for his extensive knowledge and ability to apply UK competition law to mergers‘
Electro Rent Corporation
Thomas Cook Group
InterXion Holding N.V.
Acco Brands Corporation
The regulatory team at Latham & Watkins specialises in bank-wide implementation projects, sensitive internal investigations, high-profile independent reviews and product governance. On the non contentious side, the firm has experience in transatlantic regulatory development work and provides an institutional asset management practice as well as fintech services combining regulation and technology. Practice head Rob Moulton specialises in high profile matters relating to MiFID II and Brexit. He can call on the expertise of 'very good technical lawyer' David Berman, who is known for advice in relation to the asset management, broking and banking sectors; and Carl Fernandes, who arrived from Linklaters LLP in 2018 and acts for international investment banks and asset managers 'providing consistently high quality advice'. The team has particular experience in EU benchmarks regulation. Also notable is associate Jonathan Ritson-Candler. On the contentious side, the 'astute, wily' Jon Holland and the 'excellent' Andrea Monks arrived in 2018 from Hogan Lovells International LLP and co-lead the firm’s offering. They specialise in complicated and high profile disputes and contentious regulatory issues, particularly with a multi-jurisdictional element, and have a strong track record advising retail and investment banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions.
‘The team has a very experienced set of superb banking litigators who are also great fun to work with’
‘Deep experience in the field brings an underlying knowledge of financial markets’
‘It’s hard to think of a better banking litigator than Jon Holland’
‘Andrea Monks is extremely bright with lashings of good sense’
Latham & Watkins serves life sciences companies ranging from big pharma to small bio-techs and also counts funds investing in the sector among its clients. It also offers the advantage of a global network. It is largely focused on transactional work and corporate partner Robbie McLaren handles areas such as cross-border acquisitions, and capital raisings. Fellow co-head Gail E Crawford handles cases on the tech side and includes all aspects of data privacy as a specialism. Edward Barnett deals with M&A transactions, commercial and governance matters and includes GlaxoSmithKline as a client. Frances Stocks Allen and Emily Cridland are noted associates in the team.
‘There is a uniformity in quality of service regardless of which lawyer is assigned to the task. They have a breadth of expertise across geographies and specific areas of M&A law.’
‘Edward Barnett makes himself available to provide the strong voice of authority during crucial periods of the negotiation.’
‘Frances Stocks Allen and Emily Cridland are both relatively young but come across as very seasoned in front of counterparties. Very responsive, hardworking, and just all-round pleasant people to work with.’
Private funds Tier 4
Latham & Watkins' investment funds practice group is highlighted by one client for its 'availability, competence and thoroughness'. The practice, led by Nick Benson, assists both fund managers and investors in fundraisings and fund-related transactions. The latter was an area of particular growth in the past year, with the firm advising on a number of LP joint investments and GP-led secondaries deals. Real estate fund formation instructions have increased, though private equity, private debt, venture capital and infrastructure remain core areas of focus. James McRory boasts in-house secondment experience at BC Partners, LaSalle and Actis.
‘The team is creative, available, competent, thorough and rigorous‘.
‘Latham is able to fully understand the client’s need and proactively operate to satisfy them all‘.
‘Latham’s fund practitioners are very knowledgeable of the industry in which they operate and are able to add value to any job that is given to them‘.
Alkemi Venture Partners
Argan Capital Management
ASK Investment Managers
Buran Venture Capital
Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec
Capvis Equity Partners
Charterhouse Capital Partners
China Life Insurance Co.
Citic Capital Partners
Cornerstone Corporate Finance
The Fine Art Group
LaSalle Investment Management
New Mark Advisors LLP
Novo Holdings A/S
Pravega Venture Capital
Raine Securities LLC
Searchlight Capital Partners
Step Exchange Pty Ltd
United Pacific Venture Capital Management
Employment: employers Tier 5
Core areas of experience for Latham & Watkins include governance and regulatory issues, employment aspects of major M&A transactions and business transfers and contentious work. Stephen M Brown, who co-chairs the firm's global benefits, compensation and employment practice from the London office, has expertise in TUPE matters, executive recruitment and severance and change management and downsizing projects.
Property finance Tier 5
Latham & Watkins specialises in complex, cross-border work, including commercial mortgage transactions, large loan portfolio acquisitions, and debt-on-debt and loan-on-loan transactions. The team's diverse client base includes investment banks, specialist real estate lenders, financing syndicates, real estate investment trusts, funds and investors. Jeremy Trinder, whose expertise covers commercial mortgage loans, CMBS and RMBS, leads the team. Quentin Gwyer regularly advises on debt-on-debt transactions, intercreditor arrangements, and the restructuring of real estate loans.
‘Latham & Watkins has a strong global practice with an excellent network to tap into for cross-border deals along with an impressive precedent bank to access. The team is very commercial. Given they have a relatively evenly balanced lender/borrower-side practice, they can provide a good steer on sticky issues without being dogmatic.‘
‘Jeremy Trinder is a great problem solver and has great commercial instincts. He provides a high level of partner contact while ensuring the bills are well managed, reasonable and there are no surprises when the final number comes in.‘
‘The team is very commercial, understands clients’ needs and gets the job done. They protect our interests without antagonising the other side and have the most “can do” attitude I have come across.‘
‘Jeremy Trinder is commercial, unassuming and has a natural talent for distilling complex issues into a client-friendly format.‘
‘The team is very approachable and easy to work with. They are experts but with a pragmatic view of the world. Particular strengths include a fantastic loan-on-loan practice; strong relationships with real estate funds, both debt and equity; and mezzanine and development loan-on-loan and mezzanine finance.‘
‘Jeremy Trinder heads the group and is top class. He remains involved and brings his intellect and experience directly to bear when needed. He is very organised, efficient and reliable.‘
‘The team is very knowledgeable in all aspects of commercial properties, very thorough and detailed, and very efficient.‘
‘The team has outstanding knowledge, is organised, explains things very well, and is diligent and very good to work with.’
‘Latham & Watkins has in-depth expertise of real estate debt and commercial understanding.‘
Bank of Ireland
CBRE Loan Servicing Limited
Situs Asset Management
WCM Beteiligungs- und Grundbesitz- AG
Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation
Latham & Watkins > Firm Profile
Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm with renowned practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas.
The firm: Latham boasts an award-winning London office recognised for its handling of complex cross-border matters for corporates, investment banks, private equity houses and governments in the UK and throughout the world.
Types of work undertaken: Banking and leveraged finance: Latham has a leading finance practice known in the market for its unique ability to be able to transition seamlessly between all forms of senior and subordinated loan, bond, ‘bank and bond’ and hybrid capital structures. The group regularly advises arrangers, lenders, sponsors and/or other borrowers on all types of leveraged and acquisition finance whether the governing law is English, New York, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish.
Capital markets: Latham is one of the world’s most active capital markets firms, with vast experience representing underwriters and issuers in debt and equity financing transactions, and is recognised as a market leader in high-yield debt work. Latham’s lawyers handle rights offerings, IPOs, eurobond financings, senior note offerings, high-yield, senior secured debt, and other global equity and debt-related issues.
Derivatives: Latham’s practice is both transactional and advisory. The group acts for both financial institutions and non-financial corporate clients with respect to the full range of over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange-traded derivative products.
Dispute resolution: the London practice boasts market-leading experts who specialise in complex cross-border litigation, arbitration, public international law, intellectual property and white-collar disputes.
EU and competition: Latham’s premier competition law team operates at both EU and member state levels. In London, Latham has an extensive merger control and antitrust investigations and counselling practice. Latham is one of the few firms with a market-leading criminal cartel defence and civil antitrust litigation experience.
M&A and private equity: a market-leading practice that specialises in advising leading corporates, private equity sponsors, funds and investment banks on complex cross-border transactions.
Project finance: consistently ranked among the world’s top global projects firms, Latham’s lawyers have represented sponsors, lenders (including ECAs, IFIs, conventional and Islamic debt providers) and governments in more than 1,000 projects over the last 20 years.
Restructuring and insolvency: the top-ranking practice represents debtors and creditors on workouts, restructurings and insolvencies. Latham is one of the few firms to combine leading finance capabilities with a knowledge of the high-yield bond and private placement markets, with comprehensive cross-border restructuring expertise.
Structured finance: a diverse practice representing financial institutions and issuers on complex and ground-breaking structured finance transactions across a wide spectrum of asset types, with specialist advice on Basel II and the new Basel III framework.
Tax: Latham offers integrated, multi-jurisdictional tax capabilities, developing practical solutions to complex international tax problems, including advising on cross-border M&A, private equity and securities offerings, planning for multinationals and international tax controversies.
Technology and outsourcing: recognised for the strength of its legal and commercial expertise in expert IT outsourcings, the team counsels leading clients in relation to the acquisition, development, protection, exploitation, licensing and sale of technology.
Environmental: the practice provides advice to clients on the environmental aspects of corporate transactions, contaminated land and regulatory issues, product-related issues, environmental risk and climate change.
Investment funds: the practice advises sponsors and investors on the structuring, marketing and operation of investment funds across a variety of strategies (including buyout, growth, credit, infrastructure and real estate) and jurisdictions.
Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington DC
|Managing partner||Jayanthi Sadanandan|
|Banking and leveraged finance||Sam Hamilton|
|Capital markets||Lene Malthasen|
|Employment and benefits||Stephen Brown|
|EU and competition||Marc Hansen|
|High yield||Richard Trobman|
|Intellectual property||Larry Cohen|
|International arbitration||Philip Clifford|
|IT and outsourcing||Andrew Moyle|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Mike Bond|
|Private equity||David Walker|
|Public international law||Charles Claypoole|
|Real estate||Simon Graham|
|Restructuring and insolvency||John Houghton|
|Scandinavia practice||Olof Clausson|
|Securitisation and structured finance||Mark Nicolaides|
|Venture capital and investment funds||Nigel Campion-Smith|
|Ekin E Akar||View Profile|
|Stuart Alford QC||View Profile|
|Shatha H Ali||View Profile|
|Ross Anderson||View Profile|
|Edward Barnett||View Profile|
|Simon J Baskerville||View Profile|
|James Baxter||View Profile|
|Nick Benson||View Profile|
|David Boles||View Profile|
|Michael Bond||View Profile|
|Richard Brown||View Profile|
|Stephen M Brown||View Profile|
|Matthew Brown||View Profile|
|Oliver E Browne||View Profile|
|Richard Butterwick||View Profile|
|Brett Cassidy||View Profile|
|Sarah Caughey||View Profile|
|James Chesterman||View Profile|
|Adrian P Chiodo||View Profile|
|Olof Clausson||View Profile|
|Charles Claypoole||View Profile|
|Philip Clifford||View Profile|
|Nick A Cline||View Profile|
|John D Colahan||View Profile|
|Scott Colwell||View Profile|
|Charles Courtenay||View Profile|
|Gail E Crawford||View Profile|
|Paul A Davies||View Profile|
|Catherine Drinnan||View Profile|
|Tracy K Edmonson||View Profile|
|Jennifer M Engelhardt||View Profile|
|Tom D Evans||View Profile|
|Sean Finn||View Profile|
|Clement N Fondufe||View Profile|
|Sarah Gadd||View Profile|
|Gaëtan Gianasso||View Profile|
|Simon M Graham||View Profile|
|Michael D Green||View Profile|
|Quentin A Gwyer||View Profile|
|Sam Hamilton||View Profile|
|Nicola Higgs||View Profile|
|John Houghton||View Profile|
|Kem U Ihenacho||View Profile|
|James Inness||View Profile|
|Shahid I Jamil||View Profile|
|John Kallaugher||View Profile|
|Christopher N Kandel||View Profile|
|Anthony Kay||View Profile|
|Claire A Keast-Butler||View Profile|
|Stephen E Kensell||View Profile|
|Joshua G Kiernan||View Profile|
|Deborah J Kirk||View Profile|
|Sophie J Lamb||View Profile|
|Francesco Lione||View Profile|
|Andrew Macklin||View Profile|
|Karl Mah||View Profile|
|Lene Malthasen||View Profile|
|Dan Maze||View Profile|
|Robbie McLaren||View Profile|
|Rob Moulton||View Profile|
|Andrew C Moyle||View Profile|
|Dean A Naumowicz||View Profile|
|Craig R Nethercott||View Profile|
|Dominic J Newcomb||View Profile|
|C Mark Nicolaides||View Profile|
|Dennis B Nordstrom||View Profile|
|Mohamed Nurmohamed||View Profile|
|Farah J O’Brien||View Profile|
|Tim Page||View Profile|
|Jonathan Parker||View Profile|
|Ross Pooley||View Profile|
|Helena Potts||View Profile|
|Jumana Rahman||View Profile|
|Jayanthi Sadanandan||View Profile|
|Lisbeth Savill||View Profile|
|Martin C Saywell||View Profile|
|Jocelyn Seitzman||View Profile|
|Daniel Smith||View Profile|
|JP Sweny||View Profile|
|Jeremy A Trinder||View Profile|
|Richard M Trobman||View Profile|
|Simon J Tysoe||View Profile|
|Ayesha K Waheed||View Profile|
|David J Walker||View Profile|
|Sanjev D Warna-kula-suriya||View Profile|
|Bradley J Weyland||View Profile|
|Ulrich Wuermeling||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK fee-earners : 250
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 Verdict'Enormously successful, prestigious, rapidly-growing' Latham & Watkins secured its 'market-leading reputation' for its 'strength in top-tier corporate and banking transactions'. Trainees believe Latham & Watkins is 'unrivalled amongst other US firms in London' and has a 'unique culture unlike any other'. Applicants were attracted to the firm's NQ salary as well as the 'high level of responsibility given to trainees'. This early responsibility means that 'less training is given', setting Latham & Watkins apart from some other firms. Instead, 'the ethos is that you learn by doing' which in turn means trainees are 'treated more like associates'. This is perceived positively by recruits as they have 'developed legal and commercial skills more quickly'. Respondents also enjoyed the 'high-profile work' and 'responsibility and ownership over their work streams'. The culture, salary, and people are unanimously rated the best things about the firm but the 'unpredictability of hours' and 'needing to be constantly available' was a common grumble among recruits. Latham & Watkins is a Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction, living up to expectations, confidence of being kept on and inclusiveness. This is reflected in trainees feeling 'incredibly valued' and complimenting the firm's commitment to diversity. One best moment was 'closing the first transaction I ran on my own', while another was 'the departmental ski trip'. It comes as little surprise perhaps, that 'continuous early morning finishes in the run up to the close of a deal' and 'being staffed on urgent work at 6pm on a Friday' were less appreciated by trainees. But, if early responsibility and high-profile work excite you, consider Latham & Watkins.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Banking litigation: investment and retail
- Commercial contracts
- Commercial litigation
- Corporate restructuring & insolvency
- Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
- Debt capital markets
- Derivatives (including commodities)
- Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory
- Media and entertainment (including media finance)
- Private equity: transactions – high-value deals (£250m+)
- Public international law
- Structured products and securitisation
- Emerging markets
- Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
- International arbitration
- IT and telecoms
- M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £500m+
- Mining and minerals
- Regulatory investigations and corporate crime
- Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
- Corporate tax
- EU and competition
- Financial services: contentious
- Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
- Private funds
- Employment: employers
- Property finance